Valdespin sets Mets record for pinch-hit homers

Valdespin sets Mets record for pinch-hit homers

NEW YORK -- It's a shame Jordany Valdespin can only serve as a pinch-hitter once per game.

Valdespin hit a pinch-hit home run to lead off the eighth inning Tuesday night at Citi Field, his fifth pinch-hit homer this season, a franchise record. Mark Carreon and Danny Heep both held the previous team record of four, accomplished in 1989 and 1983, respectively.

"It's great. I want to have a long career here, so the only thing I have to say is keep it going," Valdespin said. "Keep it going and play hard."

Valdespin drove a 2-1 pitch from Ryan Mattheus into the Nationals' bullpen in right-center field. He has been an efficient option for manager Terry Collins off the bench -- he is 6-for-24 as a pinch-hitter this season -- and has provided the Mets with immediate offense on numerous occasions.

"I've always thought one of the things he always has created, by putting him in the game at certain times, he has the chance to do some damage, and he's done that," said Collins.

Valdespin's five pinch-hit home runs are the most in the Majors and are tied for the most in a single season since Matt Stairs hit five with Philadelphia in 2009.